The dynamic performance criteria can add to the complexity of making personnel decisions. Both public and private sector organizations are facing increasing pressure to demonstrate their operational effectiveness and their plans for future improvement, thus they must accurately evaluate the performance of both individual workers and the organization as a whole through a solid performance management process (Seiden & Sowa, 2011). To properly assess an individual worker’s contributions to team performance, the organization must define clear performance criteria relating to traits, behaviors, or outcomes. In I/O psychology, criteria are “defined as evaluative standards that can be used as yardsticks for measuring employees’ success or failure” (Levy, 2010, p. 83). Such measurement reflects a worker’s job performance which is defined as actual on-the-job behaviors that are relevant to the organization’s goals.
Evaluation and prediction of employees’ performance become very challenging when their performance changes over time. To address this issue, I/O psychologists could develop dynamic criteria for performance measurement. Although properly defined dynamic criteria should accurately reflect performance levels that change over time, this sometimes may be difficult to achieve because the criteria may not be able to cover all dimensions of workers’ dynamic behavior that could affect their performance due to many reasons. As Levy (2010) mentioned, predicting performance is all the more difficult when the performance criterion changes. Such dynamic performance criteria can certainly add to the complexity of making personnel decisions. For example, when a good worker turns to a poor performer, personnel managers need to apply multiple criteria to assess the issue. If the decline of performance is due to organizational changes, managers may decide to offer trainings to improve the worker’s performance. If they determined that the decreasing of performance is caused by the worker’s personal reason out of the organization's control, the managers may decide to fire that worker. The dynamic nature of the criteria could lead to mistakes on personnel decisions.
Levy, P. E. (2010).Industrial/organizational psychology: Understanding the workplace (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.
Seiden, S., & Sowa, J. E. (2011). Performance management and appraisal in human service organizations: Management and staff perspectives. Public Personnel Management, 40(3), 251-264.